• POEMS BY DENNIS ANDREW S. AGUINALDO

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    The Masses are composed (I

    delirious with song); a few
    on motorcycles, blowing fully-

    paid horns, worse for wear,
    brushed up. Of
    the women, those pregnant: thighs

    muffling the laughter, taking streets, tearing
    down our petty names on iron sheets.

    If, you

    won’t call, why did you ask for it?
    There’s strength in numbers.
    If you’re already happy, what’s

    the point? Is to change it so

    important you have to mark our heads
    with hearts of ash, our ears
    with tiny bites
    our necks with the heat o
    f you breathing? It’s

    making us less than what
    we should be, asking

    for the deed to honor our parents
    as if forgetful lovers eating our work
    making little of our hands, the entire

    time piling contempt upon our needs:

    babies want more TV more than you
    they will buy you medicine,
    one day. Oh this
    this cold sheet here, naked
    and without you.

    A shore lined with cupcakes, my

    daughters fixed on pink & sprinkled, my
    wedded finds the array indelicate

    yet able to say something, what
    with tiny waves at it all day. What

    if the rare type arrives to embrace
    criticism? If some genius came to

    wheeze on the same deck, face to
    face? (a) Avoid at all costs. Myself

    I’d chew the stressed ‘fore the unstressed
    then forget where the turtle
    had buried her

    eggs, which of my fold had squished her
    way to murder. (b) Maintain balance.

    * * *

    Settlers

    Instead we arrive at stone.
    People bare a face of What now

    asking for house plans, these uneasy
    by the vises, corners curling as a

    breeze dances on worktable dust
    as though on flags of countries

    now defeated, once aquamarine
    (yes, I’ll do). Are to rebuild here /

    are to take what they can get.
    An explorer and her monkey rides

    the sub. White vans delivered us
    to stand on three legs, take footage

    tug at our collars from time to time.
    Tat artists, you guys’re sweet

    but all you are is one finger after another
    (for richer / or in health) so, what

    if this not-picture book tells you you’re
    better off sick of these fumes?

    Whoever among you has embraced the builder

    take this hard hat.
    Signed with solder, polished with spit.

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